This next interview horror story isn’t a true “horror” story. It starts off like a horror story, but then — well, just read it yourself:
I had an on-campus interview at 10 AM on Monday for a well-known litigation firm in Orange County. At 10 PM on Sunday evening, my apartment building caught on fire, and my girlfriend and I had to evacuate. We stayed the night at a hotel, and found out the next morning that they were not letting residents back into the building until around noon.
I notified our Career Services Office, but for whatever reason they couldn’t contact the interviewer and let him know I would be missing the interview. Once we were let back into our apartment (with a police escort), we were glad to know that neither our apartment nor our belongings suffered any damage.
Unfortunately, I missed the interview, and I was ready to write it off as a loss. I went to school later that day to try and see if the interviewer was still available to meet with me. I knocked on the door, wearing only a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. (I don’t know what I was thinking, but I forgot to grab my interview monkey-suit in the melee — probably because a cop was standing over my shoulder telling me only to gather “essential” items.)
Showing up to speak with an interviewer in a T-shirt and flip-flops? That’s even worse than what this guy did. Then again, excuses don’t get much better than “I was driven from my apartment building by a raging inferno.”
(But query whether there is ever any good reason to wear flip-flops in public, unless you’re at the beach. And you certainly wouldn’t wear flip-flops to the Supreme Court.)
Back to the story:
The interviewer was stunned but understanding, and we talked for about 20 minutes. During the interview, the interviewer said that if he’d had a choice, he’d rather be wearing a t-shirt and flip-flops, and not to worry about it. Even though he was accommodating, I still felt like an idiot.
The outcome? I received a call-back, and eventually an offer from that firm. (I declined the offer though.)
So what started off as an interview horror story turned into an interview happy story. Just the kind of inspirational tale you need on a Tuesday morning, with so much of the work week still stretching out before you.
Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)